Suicide

Jason Gillman / Pixabay

Owning a handgun significantly increases one’s risk of suicide, according to a study published Thursday that tracked new gun owners in California for more than a decade.


Bennilover / Flickr Creative Commons

The global pandemic is putting a strain on Americans’ mental health. There’s been a surge of calls to crisis lines in the past two months. Add a spike in gun sales to that , and experts say we may be at risk of a suicide epidemic.


Shannon Downey / Wikimedia Commons

A new study shows that state laws allowing judges to temporarily remove firearms from at-risk people can lower suicide rates among older adults. It also showed that increased firearms regulations in general are associated with lower suicide rates.


This is an encore presentation.

During the last presidential election, many lower- and middle-class white Americans were drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But have the resulting policies actually placed those very Americans at a greater risk of sickness and death?

  

Raed Mansour / Flickr Creative Commons

 


Extended social isolation. Layoffs. A run on firearms. These are indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also conditions that have suicide experts worried about at-risk Americans. 

James Gathany / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A near-record number of Americans died by gunshot in 2018 according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Heath Druzin / Boise

Idaho’s already dire suicide problem may be getting worse. According to the latest numbers from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the state had its worst rate of suicide deaths in 2018.

Lisa Marie Pane / AP Images

Idaho has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, with a majority of these deaths coming from firearms. However, little research has gone into this issue because of a ban on using federal funds to advocate for gun control. Despite this restriction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has figured out a way to move forward with new research in ten states, including Idaho. Guns & America reporter Heath Druzin talks to Idaho Matters about this important new study.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

For more than 20 years, studying guns and health has been a challenge for the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.


A new report shows youth suicide rates have spiked alarmingly in recent years, especially in the Mountain West.

Melinda Shelton / Flickr

The new school year doesn't begin in Idaho for another few weeks, but hundreds of school administrators from across the Gem State will be hitting the books this week at the annual conference of the Idaho Association of School Administrators in Boise.

The Mountain West has disproportionately high rates of depressive disorders and suicide. Researchers are trying to find out why. Turns out, the mountains themselves might have something to do with it. 

Flickr Creative Commons, Matthew Rice

In the past few years, suicide rates for firefighters have been climbing. The government doesn’t track employee deaths that happen off duty, but the firefighting community has felt the trend more in recent years.

 

Last year the nation was shocked when a 9-year-old Colorado boy took his own life. A recent report says youth suicide is a public health crisis in Colorado and the numbers in the Mountain West as a whole are staggering, with some of the highest rates in the nation. At the same time, there’s a significant shortage of mental health professionals -- at crisis levels in some communities. Often, it’s mental health workers in schools who work on the front lines of this crisis.

Public health researchers across the U.S. are eager to find possible solutions to gun violence. Gun ownership data helps researchers study how guns are used in various crimes and could reveal opportunities for preventing firearm-related deaths. But there is no federal registration requirement for guns. And without concrete numbers of gun ownership, how can researchers pin down the problem?

The answer: They use alternative measurements to get a handle on the data.

Rates of youth suicide are higher in states with high gun ownership, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Researchers studied 10 years of teenage suicide rates and found that gun ownership “is a factor that really is highly predictive for what the youth suicide rate is going to be,” said Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health and one of the paper’s authors.

The Mountain West has some of the highest teen suicide rates in the country. A new report out of the region looks at what conditions contribute to the high rate of youth suicide. 

This year, high-profile incidents like the deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade as well as clusters of suicides among young people in communities all over the country have served as a reminder that suicide is a growing public health issue in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that the U.S. life expectancy continues to decline. This trend is driven in part by an increase is drug overdoses and suicide. The Mountain West is especially vulnerable when it comes to suicide.

Monday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Here in the Mountain West, we have some of the highest suicide rates in the country.

Idaho Matters examines trends in suicide rates among America's senior population. Our guest, Ron Larsen, from Optum Idaho, looks at the impact here in the Gem State. 

For people in crisis, the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is always accessible via phone or text at 208-398-4357.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

The House just passed a bill to create a 9-1-1 type service nationwide for suicide prevention. This change could be especially important for our region, which has some of the highest suicide rates in the country.

Talking About Suicide

Jun 11, 2018
CNN

America saw the passing of two cultural icons by suicide and on Monday's Idaho Matters we look at how to start the discussion about suicide and resources to turn to with St. Joseph's counselor Christy Porter.

On The Monday, June 11, 2018 Edition Of Idaho Matters:

Jun 8, 2018

  • Talking about suicide.
  • Breakthroughs in breast cancer research.
  • Enjoying summer wines.

Go Inside The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline

Sep 28, 2015
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The call center at the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline could be a room in any number of businesses. There are four desks, each with a computer and a phone. But the overhead fluorescents are off and the soft light from a few lamps makes it feel more like a therapist’s office. A woman is talking on the phone to someone who says a friend is posting suicidal thoughts on Facebook.

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